Thought I was going to have Congressman Rush next to me today in the center seat, but the attendant directed him to the only other open seat on the plane that was closer to the front.
Politicians often seen on flights to DC but they seem uniformly ignored by the other passengers. I guess it's rude to voice opinions or talk politics with them. After all you have the advantage of knowing them and they haven't a clue who you are.
I've seen Sen Durbin many times. Always, as was Rush, in a nice suit. Politicians alone wearing suits and ties. I've never seen one in first class. We make them dress up and then ask they fly budget.
Michael Deaver was in first class on a flight back to Chicago about a year ago and he got up suddenly in front of me to get something from the overhead as I was boarding. It was late. I was tired. Deaver startled me a bit. I looked at him and said, "geez aren't you famous? Can I shake your hand?", and smiled and said, "no, infamous!", then extended a hand.
I shake hands with anyone remotely connected with historical personages. When I worked in the garmant factory, (that's how I know to recognize a good suit) Philmaid at 1033 West Van Buren, in the 1970's my boss was Art Lev who shook hands with Trotsky as a little boy in Polish Russia. I shook Art's hand and figure that handshake took me all the way to Stalin, Lenin, and Marx-and-Engels.
I was reading a story on Joschka Fisher's problems in the Economist when I looked up to see Rush in the aisle. If he had sat next to me, I would have asked to shake his hand, and then shown him the Economist about another old 68er who's made a mess in Germany and now getting grilled by a younger and more conservative crowd. That hand shake would have taken me back places too. Would have hoped the Fisher story would have spurred some talk out of Rush about the 60's and the 70's and the legacy we've left.